Arts & Architecture

Using Social Impact Bonds to Decrease Recidivism in California State Prisons

This paper outlines a clear plan to successfully implement social impact bonds in the state of California to reduce rates of recidivism and total prison costs.
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    THE HIGH COST OF INCARCERATING DRUG OFFENDERS   JULIAN FISHMAN & CASEY SHULTZ MAY 14, 2014    TABLE OF CONTENTS   Contents   Executive Summary  ______________________________________________________________________________________ 1   The Problem  ______________________________________________________________________________________________ 2   Evidence of the Problem  _________________________________________________________________________________ 3   Sectoral Solutions  ________________________________________________________________________________________ 7   Criteria for Evaluation  _________________________________________________________________________________ 12   Solution Evaluation  _____________________________________________________________________________________ 13   Intersectoral Solution  __________________________________________________________________________________ 22   ‘Pay for Success’ Pilot Program  ________________________________________________________________________ 23   Appendix A: Pay for Success Key Players  _____________________________________________________________ 29   Appendix B: Calculating PFS Payback Schedule  ______________________________________________________ 30   References  ______________________________________________________________________________________________ 31    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Page 1   Executive Summary   This report addresses the high cost of incarcerating drug offenders in the United States. The analysis provides extensive evidence of market failures and suggests multiple solutions in each sector: policy, business, and nonprofit. Each solution is analyzed using the following criterion:    Financial impact for taxpayers      Economic benefit       Reduction in prison population      Social impact       Feasibility   The best solution in each sector is:   Policy:  Legalizing marijuana -  total return $19.9 billion   Business:  Private ankle - bracelet monitoring – total return $4.2 billion   Nonprofit  : Clean Slate Institute – total return $3.57 billion   This paper concludes that the most effective way to address the high cost of incarcerating drug offenders is to create an overarching Pay for Success Program incorporating solutions from each sector. The political and financial climate in California make it the ideal state to launch the program with an initial pilot in Alameda County to prove the model before scaling into new geographies.   This is an excellent Executive Summary. You both summarize the contents and tell us your solution, exactly as the ES should do. Well done.    THE PROBLEM   Page 2   The Problem   “The cost of jailing those arrested for drug related charges in the United States is too high.”    This is a long - standing issue that exhibits symptoms of market failure on a number of levels. First and foremost, there is a principal - agent conflict congruent with public choice theory whereby lawmakers and politicians take a tough stance on drug  - offenders to prop up specific industries such as private prisons and corporations benefiting from cheap prison labor. (Goodkind, 2013) Taking a softer stance on drug offenders may also put some politicians in a vulnerable position with mainstream and conservative voters, which makes this problem complicated to resolve politically. There is also the market failure of procedural fairness to consider. Those incarcerated for drug offenses disproportionately come from disadvantaged and minority communities. These individuals incarcerated for an extended period generally have fewer support networks than wealthier demographics, which exacerbate the social costs, associated with reintegrating back into society. (ACLU, 2013)   Nicely done. It’s been gratifying to see you both evolve this PS over the semester into something specific and concise, that you can then treat very deeply in the paper(s). 10/10    EVIDENCE OF THE PROBLEM   Page 3   Evidence of the Problem   As highlighted in figure 1, the number of prisoners in the US has grown exponentially over the last 40 years. This provides a clear indication that the number of people being incarcerated is disproportionate to population growth and the level of crime.   Figure 1 - US State and Federal Prison Population 1925 –  2012 (Schmitt, Warner, & Gupta, 2010) Despite being colloquially referred to as the “land of the free” the US currently incarcerates a higher proportion of its population compared to other countries as illustrated by figure 2.  
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